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Laura Vowels

I am a qualified relationship therapist working with individuals, couples and families on emotional, relational and sexual problems primarily from Emotionally Focused Therapy perspective. My role is to help guide you in your journey towards greater closeness, safety and connection whether that is with yourself, your partner, family member or other people around you.
Laura Vowels

I am a fully qualified relationship therapist working with individuals, couples and families from a variety of backgrounds. Although I have received training in a range of therapeutic modalities, I work primarily from Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) perspective. By seeking therapy you have already taken the first step towards change. My role is to help guide you in your journey towards a brighter future and to carry hope that things will get better even in times when you may struggle to see the path ahead of you. I believe that therapy can be an incredibly helpful and rewarding experience but may also be challenging at times. Through the therapeutic process people can discover inner strength they never knew they had and connect with others in a completely new and deeper way.

I have previously worked in different settings including secondary mental health outreach services, residential care units, NHS depression and anxiety service, relationship charities and private online therapy services. I currently work in private practice in Central London and Guildford.

Background Experience and Training


I began my career working for a charity who offered support for people struggling with serious mental health problems including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder. I then trained as a low intensity cognitive behavioural therapist (psychological wellbeing practitioner) and worked in the NHS with individuals struggling with common mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, phobias and eating disorders.

Later I completed my training as a couple and family therapist in the US. My training involved working with children, young people, couples and families. I have been trained in a range of play therapy methods for children, systemic therapies for couples and families, psychosexual therapy for a range of sexual difficulties and I also received training in the most evidence-based couples therapies including Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) and the Gottman method. I have since sought further training in EFT and I’m in the process of becoming one of the few certified EFT therapists in the UK.

I am currently pursuing a PhD in Psychology at University of Southampton. My research area broadly focuses on close relationships with a specific focus on how partners can feel more safe and secure with each other and help each other achieve their full potential and how couples can navigate instances of sexual desire discrepancy in their relationships. I have published several articles around sex and close relationships and presented at multiple scientific conferences. In May 2019, I received the Sandra Leiblum student research award for the best scientific article of the year, which was titled “Strategies for Mitigating Desire Discrepancy in Long-Term Relationships” and in 2018 I was in the Top 5 best research projects of the International Association for Sex Research for my research on how love and sexual desire impact quality and quantity of sexual experience.

Options for therapy


I primarily work with couples and families that are struggling with a range of emotional, relational and sexual issues. I help them move towards safe and loving emotional connection from being stuck in destructive conflict patterns of attack-withdraw and blame-defend. I work with many different relationship types including mixed-sex and same-sex couples who may be married, cohabiting, dating, separated or consensually non-monogamous/polyamorous.

I also work with children (from the age of 5), young people and adults on a variety of issues including mental health problems, relational and emotional struggles and interpersonal trauma. The most appropriate treatment options can be discussed based on individual needs but usually include cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), emotionally focused therapy, integrative therapy or play therapy (for children).

Major qualifications

  • PhD Psychology (ongoing, expected 2021), University of Southampton, UK
  • Externship in Emotionally Focused Therapy, Couples Care Centre, ICEEFT, US
  • MSc Family Sciences, Couple and Family Therapy, University of Kentucky, US
  • Postgraduate certificate Evidence-based psychological practice, University of Exeter, UK
  • Level 4 Counselling Skills certificate, Cambridge Open College, UK
  • BSc Psychology, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK


Professional memberships

  • British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP)
  • British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP)
  • International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy (ICEEFT)
  • Society for Sex Therapy and Research (SSTAR)

Let's Meet and Talk

Get in Touch to schedule Free 20min Initial Phone Assessment or Face-to-Face extended Assessment with your therapist 

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Other Team Members

Gulya Diyarova
EFT Clinic director

Gulya Diyarova

Gulya Diyarova, MSc Tavistock, PgDip Relate Inst, ICEEFT Cert. EFT therapist and supervisor, UKCP Reg, COSRT Accr, BACP Reg, ICEEFT Reg.
Kevin Standish

Kevin Standish

B.Soc.Sci (Hons)(Social Work); Hons (Psychology); Masters (Clinical Psychology); PGDip (Psychotherapy); PGDip (Couple Therapy); PGCert in Higher Education, Emotionally Focused Therapy training
Azah Yazmin

Azah Yazmin

Law degree, Malaysia University, MA (Counselling Psychology), MSc Psychology (ongoing), Emotionally Focused Therapy training, Discernment Counselling
Agnieszka Religa

Agnieszka Religa

MSc (Psychology), MSc (Family and Couple Therapy), additional training in Emotionally Focused Therapy
Elena Churikova

Elena Churikova

Elena Churikova, MSc, PGDip (3), EFT (Emotionally Focused Therapy) therapist, EMDR, Discernment Counselling
Dr Jo Wood

Dr Jo Wood

Jo Wood PhD in Psychology, Accred. CBT & Schema therapist, consultant EMDR practitioner, EFT-trained therapist
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